|Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,|
Then Beauty is its own excuse for being:
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I woke this morning to another beautiful sunny day here in Albuquerque. The sky is blue and the sun caresses my skin enveloping me in warmth and hope. The cold snap we had some days ago have subsided although I know that winter is coming much too soon. But that’s ok.
That’s not to say that all’s right with the world. There are all kinds of atrocities surrounding us. And our political system is in shambles. My heart breaks when I watch the news. But there’s very little I as an individual can do. Although today is election day and I can proudly say I voted. (I hope you have, too.) In my own way, I stand for the democratic system that works for all but I refuse to enter the fray and the abomination we now call discourse which is tearing our country apart.
So what else can I do? Each day I look for ways to uplift others. A kind word here…an act of kindness given to a stranger…a smile. These are things I can contribute to the betterment of this world.
These are all small things…they don’t make the news and for the most part they are simply passing acts that I hope will make the day a little bit more tolerable for others.
But there’s more. I seek out ways to create something of beauty. They are called hobbies. For me those creations take the form of embroidery, acrylic painting, woodburning, crochet, playing “oldies-but-goodies” and classical music on the piano. They’re little snippets of beauty that I create to herald the beauty that surrounds us. I speak my wonder at how much beauty surrounds us.
I choose these activities in an effort to bring peace and hope to my little corner of the world. I choose them to remind myself – and others – that focusing on the wonderment in our everyday lives lifts us out of the bitterness and anger that surrounds us.
For example, I said I am not thrilled by winter coming. And the inclement weather we experienced some days ago was not particularly pleasant especially since I didn’t have heat at the time. “OK, so what do I do?” I asked. In this case, I pulled out my paints and created this picture. I call it Snow Comes to the Desert.
It’s not a spectacular work of art – won’t win any awards. But it’s a reminder that even in the harshest of circumstances there is good and beauty everywhere. It’s my way of saying,
What would happen if each of us made an effort to look for ways to share the magnificence we find in our corner of the world? Yes, many do already. Each in their own way, artisans and people like you and me around the world are building on skills and interests that empower us to see and build a better world. It’s easy. Can be something as simple as gathering dirt and clay to create pottery. Or taking wood, molding and polishing it into works of art or furniture to enhance our living spaces. Or using hanks of wool or discarded grocery bags to crochet tapestry and clothing. Or using paints and brushes to extol the beauty that surrounds us. Or, just take a pencil and a sheet of paper and write a poem.
We begin with what we have at hand…the materials don’t particularly matter. It all depends on what we are most comfortable with…what we enjoy most depending on our sensual appreciation of the materials we have to work with and how those materials speak to our better selves…and then the magic begins. Through our efforts and interaction with those materials, we tell our story. It’s the story of our little corner of the world and what makes life magnificent and worth living.
Ideas for you to get involved are limitless…just search Google and YouTube if you’re looking for inspiration. And, if you already are working in some small way to rebuild a better world, tell us about it.